Hoyer Leads Bipartisan Fight for Pay Parity

Bipartisan, Regional Delegation Sends Letter to President Bush

For Immediate Release:

January 17, 2006

Contact:Liz Packard
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD),  joined by a bipartisan, regional delegation of House Members, today sent a letter to President Bush calling on him to include the principle of pay parity for federal civilian and military employees in his fiscal year 2007 budget proposal.  Representative Hoyer was the lead sponsor of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act, which currently governs federal employee pay. 

“Compensation for federal civilian employees has historically lagged behind the pay of private sector employees engaged in similar work. To ensure that the federal government continues to attract the country’s best and brightest employees, Congress must address this pay gap,” Hoyer said. “Pay parity is one way to prevent the gap from widening, and recognizes the essential contributions of both the federal civilian workforce and our military. I am proud to be a leader in this effort.”

Below is the text of the letter to President Bush and the list of signatories:

January 17, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President:

     As members of Congress representing tens of thousands of federal civilian employees, we are writing to ask that you embrace the principle of pay parity in your fiscal year 2007 budget proposal that you will shortly be sending to Congress. 

    Pay parity is not a new concept.  Historically, Congress has expressed strong bipartisan support for parity in pay adjustments between our military and federal civilian sectors, due to the essential service military and civilian employees provide to our nation and the vast wage gap that exists between public and private sector wages.  In nearly every year during the past two decades, there have been equal adjustments in the compensation of members of the uniformed services and the compensation of civilian employees of the United States as a means under the General Schedule system to help achieve pay comparability between the public and private sector. 

    We cannot express strongly enough the importance of continuing the tradition of pay parity between military and civilian employees in the coming fiscal year.  As we fight the war on terrorism at home and abroad, both the armed services and the federal civilian workforce are integral to fulfilling the role of government for the American people.  We believe anything less than an equal pay adjustment in 2007 sends the regrettable message that the services civilians provide to America every day are not highly valued.  In addition, the federal government is facing a “human capital crisis”, with many of our most experienced employees poised to retire.  It is critical that we be able to recruit quality employees in the future.

    We remain open to initiatives that seek to find ways to more effectively allocate our human capital expenditures and help ensure the Federal government is able to recruit, retain, and reward the individuals necessary to fulfill its duties to the American taxpayer.  In the meantime, we urge you to propose a single pay adjustment for fiscal year 2007 that recognizes the essential contributions of our nation’s uniformed and civilian employees. 

Thanking you and with kindest personal regards, we are

Sincerely,

/s/
Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

/s/
Thomas M. Davis III (R-VA)

/s/
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)

/s/
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

/s/
James P. Moran (D-VA)

/s/
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

/s/
Frank R. Wolf (R-VA)

/s/
Albert R. Wynn (D-MD)

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